Home | News    Wednesday 25 January 2012

UNHCR condemns air raid on refugees in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state

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January 24, 2012 (JUBA/KHARTOUM) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday strongly condemned an air raid which reportedly occurred in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on Monday.

UNHCR said that it is believed that at least one boy was injured and 14 other people are missing in the aftermath of the aerial bombing which targeted a refugee transit site in Elfoj, located less than 10 kilometres from the border with Sudan.

The refugee agency expressed alarm over the attack on vulnerable refugees fleeing the violence in Sudan’s Blue Nile state.

Teresa Ongaro, the UNHCR’s senior external relations officer told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that the organisation is deeply concerned about the welfare of refugees in the region, saying the state government and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) had embarked on an assessment of the situation.

“What we are really concerned about right now is the plight and welfare of those refugees in the region. We urge state authorities and the UN to protect them from such forms of violence,” Ongaro said by phone.

A team from UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) who had begun supervising relocation
operations for the refugees, reportedly fled for safety during the first round of bombings, while several jumped out of the trucks and scattered.

“After the bombings, agency staff rapidly mobilised the refugees. The convoy left for a safe location some 70km from the border with 1,140 individuals on board. This brought to 11,477 the total number of refugees moved from Elfoj since relocation operations started on January 6th,” reads the UNHCR’s statement, adding that about 4,000 more refugees relocated spontaneously from Elfoj.

The UNHCR says that more than 20,000 refugees have relocated spontaneously or with the assistance of the international community from border areas to new settlements in Upper Nile and Unity states.

Since August last year, UNHCR estimates that more than 78,000 people have fled Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, out of which over 54,000 are in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and 24,000 in Unity states.

In a separate interview, Peter Lam Both, the Upper Nile government spokesperson confirmed Monday’s attack, adding that another one took place on Sunday in a village within Maban County killing three people and injuring at least four.

There was no independent confirmation of the second attack referred to by the state official.

Sudan army spokesperson Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad denied the reports.

"Our troops have nothing to do with it at all with the bombing in the South and the Government of Southern Sudan has no evidence proving the involvement of our forces in this incident" he was quoted as saying by the independent al-Sahafa newspaper.

Khartoum was accused last November of a similar raid on Yida refugee camp in the same state. This camp housed thousands of people who have fled fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan state.

South Sudan does not have air defence capability but earlier this month the US president Barack Obama added the country to the list of states which can receive military help from Washington. US officials at the time said that there are no immediate plans to sell any hardware to Juba.

South Sudan became an independent state last July following a referendum held a year ago in which southerners decided almost unanimously that they wanted to secede from the Arab-Muslim dominated north.

Despite Khartoum swiftly recognising the new state on its borders, tensions have escalated dramatically ever since between the two countries. The two sides traded accusations on supporting rebel groups on the other side of the border.

(ST)

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  • 25 January 2012 10:28, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

    Whoever profits by the crime is guilty of it.
    One day one time you will pay for it keep killing really citizen of this country you occupies fake arab of Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 25 January 2012 12:12, by NUER ONE

      @ DINKA DOMINATED,
      My brother you know killing is bad,as you wrote me that if i come to sudan you will kill me,others will kill you too, like what you are doing.

      repondre message

      • 25 January 2012 14:38, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

        Your name is not Nuer please why do you called your names with other tribe name?
        I know you when to be Nuer but that will not happen,

        I don’t killed people okey i may be in the centre of power but that does not subject me to kills anyone,

        You know what i love Nuer tribe in our country, just some of them that i don’t like but not all of them, they are great people,

        repondre message

        • 25 January 2012 15:10, by NUER ONE

          Turn me into murlei, and i will face you since you don’t want my tribe to be nuer.

          repondre message

          • 25 January 2012 16:46, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

            Even if i turn you into murle, how would you reach Awan Chan to steal cows and childeren?
            Back off don’t be silly boy talk business not crub,

            repondre message

          • 26 January 2012 14:00, by Green

            To Nuer one. Hello! My brother, I think your are not from Southern Sudan because southern peaple are all toword development, but you are out.What is your problem? Let we talk on development we young generation don’t spend your time with nothing.Iam not nuer nor Dinka. God bless.

            repondre message

    • 25 January 2012 13:22, by Rine Village

      The foolish people from Arab who use to kills innocent people, the living almighty God will kill them though they are more powerful. God will see them.

      repondre message

    • 25 January 2012 19:05, by Equatoria dominated SPLM

      you deem who name your self nuer and dinka dominate splm please read the general guide of sudan tribute that say,
      1 no abuse on the line and you are still abusing your selves that is antisocial behavior. let cooperate on line please.

      repondre message

      • 26 January 2012 04:06, by omoni jr.

        Equatorian Dominated SPLM is also known as Dinka Dominated SPLM/A.Pease pretend that you are some one different the name above.

        repondre message

  • 25 January 2012 11:36, by SimonGK

    don’t you know there is God who is watching all the thing you are doing to innocence civilian? or your religion didn’t condemn killing as sin? there will be time in which all people be judged by creator no matter what religion you follow and you will paid for it.

    repondre message

    • 25 January 2012 12:14, by Ruach

      Every bombardments occuring in our territory is done by Russians in support to khartoum.They are useless and can’t even pilot the Aeroplane rather they are assisted by Russia.Fake Arabs of Sudan,ur days are out and your Bashir will die in ICC or be killed by the mighty Africans they are killing.They are killing the people like fishes!What type of your stupid Islam that allow criminal activities?

      repondre message

      • 25 January 2012 12:47, by Dau-arok

        That action must be condemned and taken to the UNSC for further resolutions.

        repondre message

  • 25 January 2012 13:56, by Waucity

    So shameful to attack people who ran and left you with whatever glory you achieved by kicking them out of their homeland..Shame, all of you so call Northern leaders are worth wondering at the back of the camels in the desert..Not Sudan.

    repondre message

  • 25 January 2012 14:10, by Anynya One

    This terrible action caused by the Sudan government of (NCP) must be stopped. It is time for the government of South Sudan to take immediate actions, steps forwarded to the United Nation Security Council or else South Sudan and Sudan will resume the war shortly. Omer El Bashir will test the fire he and his party (NCP) are longing for. Showtime!

    repondre message

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